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What Trump Should Hears
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
May 5, 2017

Washington has drawn up the framework that the Palestinian negotiator should adhere to, if negotiations are resumed, and it put throughout "the nine conditions that were proposed by the Greenblatt's team", the steps that the PA leadership should implement in order for the US administration to revive the "two-state solution" and revert to its previous policy of supporting this "solution''.

According to the American "Deal", the negotiations will be regional through the participation of five Arab countries without specifying the reference of these negotiations or their time frame. Normally, if we take stormy developments in the region into consideration, many files will be placed on the table that go beyond the Palestinian issue, files which will be drowned in the sea of mechanisms of applying the American vision to ongoing conflicts, and as a result Washington's presence would be strengthened, which has been absent from controlling of events in the past few years.

In the midst of all these, President Abbas's visit to Washington and his meeting with President Trump comes after the calming of premonitions of the Palestinian Authority leadership that related to the continuous ignoring of new US administration to it.

The American "prelude" to President Abbas's visit made what Washington wants from the leadership of PA so clear, which draws attention that Greenblatt's team presented the nine conditions with the expression "good intentions". Of course, the intentions of the PA toward the occupation; while the former US administration was motivating the Israeli government to "make faithful step" that encourage the Palestinian negotiator to re-enter the negotiating arena, while at the same time he can market the justifications for this entry.

Under the banner of reviving the settlement, Trump administration repeats what was demanded by former US administrations in "urging" the leadership of PA to carry out "substantial" reforms in its institutions, specifically the security establishment with its various agencies.

But the new US administration demands that these intelligence agencies should play a direct role in suppressing all forms of resistance against occupation, including popular resistance that was described by Greenblatt's terms as "domestic terrorism". It is no longer acceptable from the PA to issue statements that condemns the resistance operations against the occupation.

Rather, it is required to play an "effective" role. This is certainly going through strengthening security coordination with the occupation and monitoring the movements of resistance activists, so as to stop popular activities against the occupation. It is normal to say that Washington will demand that it to be implemented on the ground immediately before thinking of pushing the settlement process forward.

It is also normal to say that Major General Majid Faraj, director of the General Intelligence Service in the Palestinian Authority and the participant in preparing for President Abbas's visit, heard this from Jared Kouchner, who leads Greenblatt's team, President Trump's envoy.

Through the nine conditions, and the outcome of Trump's meetings with a number of Arab presidents and kings, the US administration said what it wants, and it is now in the process of knowing how the response to its demands are going to be and perhaps this is the direction that will control over the meeting of Presidents Abbas and Trump.

Through these conditions, Washington has stepped over its usual policy of direct intervention in the structure of the PA and its institutions to intervene on the PLO field and its institutions. This is manifested in its demand to "stop paying the salaries of families of martyrs and prisoners" in line with the "Tauler Voss Act enacted by the US Congress concerning financial aids to PA" as stated in the text of one of the conditions.

Through these conditions, Washington is intervening in the field of Palestinian division with an aim of converting it to direct conflict between the both parties of division.
Washington expressed that in demanding the PA to stop transferring funds to Gaza Strip, because "from the point of view of the US administration" transferring funds is not a commitment by the PA to the Gaza strip and its people, but «to finance Hamas that is listed on the list of terrorism», as stated in another one of the nine conditions.

Despite all the above, there is much to be heard by President Trump and his administration . First, reminding him about the results of the policies that were adopted by previous US administrations towards the settlement process, starting from designing their unfair bases and rules against Palestinians, to the complicity with Tel Aviv in spreading settlements and ignoring its ongoing crimes, and putting the Palestinian negotiator and his political reference between the stick that is available and the carrot delusive. Consequently, the settlement remained merely a banner that covers Israeli expansionist and aggressive policies.

One of the most notable faults of American policies, was listing the Palestinian resistance in the list of terrorism, which was as a cushion on which Israeli governments leaned on it to justify their targeting of the politic and popular Palestinian situation, that what Ariel Sharon expressed in 2001 after the explosions in Washington and New York, as he tried to present Tel Aviv as one of the pillars of the "International Coalition Against Terrorism" which was created by Washington at that time to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Now, Netanyahu is doing the same by presenting his government as an active counterterrorism party in fighting ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Therefore, it was no coincidence that he tried to pin the charge of belonging to this terrorist organization with a number of Palestinian resistance fighters.

Through these policies, the US administrations have violated the United Nations' resolutions related to the Palestinian cause, including resolutions in connection with right of self-determination of peoples and their right to resist occupation, resolutions that considered this resistance legitimate to enable these peoples to exercise their right of self-determination.

Before Trump formally took office, he announced his intention to "correct" the American position that passed the legalization of the Security Council resolution that rejected the settlement. If this policy is persisted, it means that the United States, the permanent member of the Security Council throughout its successive administrations, stands against the United Nations.

Therefore, we believe that the correct answer to the demands and conditions of Trump administration, is to put it in front of its legal and political commitment depending on its position in the international organization, by respecting its decisions related to the Palestinian cause. In the context of the response, the Palestinian national program should be recognized as a liberal program, consistent with the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions. Without this, we will continue to move from the illusion of losing bets, to the trap of deadly deals.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Hasan Barazi
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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